Eek Online: CCP Apologises

By Alec Meer on June 27th, 2011 at 9:17 am.

Actually, a real cybermonocle would cost much more than $68. What's everyone complaining about?

CCP hasn’t been making Eve players terribly happy of late, first by introducing microtransaction vanity items broadly perceived as being about as affordable as Ferrero Rocher made of real gold, then by suffering a leak of an internal discussion about how to make even more from microtransactoins, and most recently by a blog from their senior producer which tried to wave away these issues with some rather peculiar arguments. In the wake of a fan uproar, they’ve now held up their hands and admitted to making a bit of a boo-boo.

Don’t get too excited yet: they’re not climbing down from microtransactions. However, senior producer Arnar ‘CCP Zulu’ Gylfason (he of the now notorious ‘avatar clothes are equivalent to real-life clothes’ blog – has put out another message, admitting that “I let my frustration take charge of me, fueled by emotions that had built up due to a breach of trust we at CCP have been experiencing over the past few days. I know that sounds ironic considering those are the exact same feelings you have been having towards CCP. For that I am sorry.

“Having cooled off a bit and taken a solemn look at the situation, I see it’s clear we need to strengthen the deep mutual trust and respect that’s been so unique and descriptive of our relationship. There are certain questions you want answered and there isn’t room for more error in our communication on those topics or our perception of the root causes.”

The first stage towards doing this is an “extraordinary meeting” in Iceland at the end of the week between CCP and Eve’s in-game Council of Stellar Management, an elected body of Eve players intended to represent, discuss and promote subscriber’s concerns. Why? “To help us define and address the real underlying concerns, and to assist us in defining and iterating on our virtual goods strategy.”

Hopefully this means compromise will be reached, and not just the CSM having their ears talked off about how pretend pants and real pants are worth the same money.

Oh, and Gylfason also addresses the enduring rumour that CCP are planning to introduce non-vanity item microtransactions, such as better weapons and ships. “Tthere are no and never have been plans to sell “gold ammo” for Aurum. In [the leaked internal newsletter] Fearless people are arguing a point, which doesn’t even have to be their view, they are debating an issue. This is another example of how information out of context is no information at all.”

And with that, he’s gone. CCP’s official communications channels on these matters will apparently remain dark until the sit-down with the CSM is resolved.

Sounds as though CCP are at least trying to steer their ship back onto a course its players are happier with. Whether they do enough remains to be seen – especially as the tone of both CCP blog posts carries a certain implication that they feel the microtransaction problem is one of communication rather than practice. Still, not every firm would be this open about having gotten something wrong – it’s a positive sign for sure.

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117 Comments »

  1. President Weasel says:

    There’s very little respect and no trust left to strengthen. If he’d said “lessen the distrust and ameliorate the anger” that would have been more apt.

    • Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

      Speaking as an over 2 year eve player that emoragequit over this issue, is that this is not the issue.

      • Stupidly expensive vanity items
      • The very likely possibility of unfair advantages being purchased for real world money
      – non-players may not realise, but training skills to use items takes a LONG time. It can take a year of constant training to fly some ships and fit some modules. It’s not just ships and ammo that are considering being sold, but skill points. Why should I train for months to fly a ship when some brat with daddy’s credit card can buy the skill in an instant?
      • The whole Walking in Stations idea adds nothing to the core EvE gameplay, yet dev attention was squandered on it while core gameplay mechanic issues ave been completely overlooked . . AGAIN.
      • CCP using the EvE playerbase as beta-testers for software tech designed to be used in other games that CCP are developing, that frankly does not belong in EvE.
      • Even if the Walking in Stations had any useful point, it was released way too early; it’s buggy, slow and amateurish.
      • And the last straw, the high-ups at CCP’s arrogant and deceitful approach and response to this issue. They don’t care about the user experience any more.

      And that’s just the start. So people, don’t think “what’s all this fuss over vanity micro(ha ha)transactions, there’s a lot more to it than that.

    • Unaco says:

      “The very likely possibility of unfair advantages being purchased for real world money”.

      Haven’t they just said that they won’t be selling anything that can give advantage for real world money?

      “Tthere are no and never have been plans to sell “gold ammo” for Aurum.”

    • Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

      “Haven’t they just said that they won’t be selling anything that can give advantage for real world money?

      “Tthere are no and never have been plans to sell “gold ammo” for Aurum.””

      And you believe them? They said microtransactions would never be a part of EvE, and . . oh my, whoops, how ever did that get in there?

      It’s time to stop listening to what CCP says and start watching what it will do, other than give a few big-name gamers a free holiday in Iceland (which my subscription paid for, grrrr).

    • Premium User Badge

      Gundato says:

      So basically, nothing they can say will change your opinions?

      You yourself said it is time to watch what they do. Maybe it would be a smart idea to do that? So far they seem to only be doing the TF2 approach of “hats! hats! hats!”. They haven’t started selling skill points or weapons or ships yet (and have even said they aren’t).

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      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      > And you believe them? They said microtransactions would never be a part of EvE, and . . oh my, whoops, how ever did that get in there?

      And it’s true. Microtransactions are pennies and fractions of pennies. $70 for a monocle is not a microtransaction.

      ;)

    • President Weasel says:

      they said no “gold ammo” would ever have been available, and then a (since verified) leaked internal newsletter had an article entitled “greed is good” suggesting all sorts of ways they could make money from microtransactions – such as the “gold ammo” they previously promised never to sell.
      They have no credibility left.

    • innociv says:

      He also says “There are no and never have been plans to sell ‘gold ammo’ for Aurum”
      He doesn’t say “There never will be plans to sell ‘gold ammo’ for Aurum”. Two very different sentances.

      There weren’t plans to add microtransactions a year ago, and now there are. Though, in their defence they’ve added macrotransactions not microtransactions. $150 for a complete outfit is not micro.

    • SpinalJack says:

      Arbodnangle Scrulp,

      No one is forcing you to buy vanity items, you don’t run into a clothes store and shout at them for being there. If the eve economy has changed because of it then suck it up, that’s what real economy does, it changes in sometime unpredictable ways and you just have to adapt to take advantage of it.

      As stated before, there are no plans to sell ships and ammo for real money.

      The point about wasting developer time is naive and ridiculous, you don’t own them. They as a company need to expand and make other games so they’d have been making this new engine either way, just be glad that some of it is getting into eve.

      You as a customer are in your right to be mad about the service and stop playing which is the only sure fire way to get a company to listen but please stop all this entitlement BS cos it makes you sound childish

    • Antsy says:

      EVE, like no other game I’ve ever played, demands an investment of time. Not time spent playing now for immediate enjoyment but investing time training towards a future goal that might be a year (or much more) away from fruition. It’s galling for players who have invested years in training time to have to wonder if EVE will be a game they even want to play in a years time, when they have finally trained their character up for it’s current intended purpose.

      No, the players don’t own the developer’s time. But they own their own time. If they worry about investing their time, and money, with CCP why on earth shouldn’t they say so?

    • President Weasel says:

      “the point about wasting developer time is naive and ridiculous” – well, no.
      Vast amounts of development time and resources have been spent on something that the community didn’t want. Very little development time and resources appear to have gone towards feature the community wanted, or to fix the large pile of half-implemented shiny things that CCP got bored with and wandered off from, distracted by new shiny.

      I wouldn’t say it’s entitlement to think the game you play for fun should be fun, or that the problems that have existed for a long time should be addressed. If anything it’s naive to think that people wouldn’t get upset when the latest expansion consists of
      1) an item store for overpriced vanity items that there was no noticeable desire for from the community
      2) a test bed for their planned other MMO that adds nothing to the core game, appears to be overheating ATI graphics cards, and gives you less functionality in the original client if you choose to disable it.

      Were all the people who left SWG after the “New Game Experience” naive, entitled, whiners too?

    • thehollowman says:

      Can’t I already buy a sweet account on the black market for $50? Or the in-game currency?

    • Sardaukar says:

      “Can’t I already buy a sweet account on the black market for $50? Or the in-game currency?”

      No, you can buy it for the in-game currency only, that’s the point. Even though you’re getting the account by paying for it, you’re still relying on ISK generated in the game to do so. You bought a GTC, converted it to PLEX, and now someone who has actually participated in the EVE economy has to buy that PLEX from you with ISK.

      Aurum sidesteps this entirely, for now.

    • Premium User Badge

      Carra says:

      That’s ok. Silver bullets are the best ammo anyway.

  2. FakeAssName says:

    Check out Massively’s post on how so many players are migrating from EVE to Perpetuum that it broke Perpetuum’s relay server (whatever the fuck that is) so bad that they have implemented a login cap to keep the thing running while they bust out an emergency fix.

    who knows if they (the players from EVE) will stay long term, but the sheer fact that this many people are willing to try out something new is a (real) bad sign.

    • MartinNr5 says:

      Do you have a link ot the post in question?

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      AndrewC says:

      ‘people are willing to try out something new is a (real) bad sign’

      I dunno, and it’s not fakeassname’s fault, but this phrase makes me sad.

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      PoulWrist says:

      Why have I never heard about this Perpetuum game?

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      AndrewC says:

      You get terribly confused when ‘u’s are put together, with your brain thinking ‘but it’s just a ‘w’, why don’t they just say it’s a ‘w’?’ and eventually you just block out all memory it.

    • FakeAssName says:

      it’s a mech based EVE clone.

      it’s not quite as well developed as EVE but it’s only been out for less than a year and has got a way smaller team working on it. it will probably come into it’s own provided it can stay afloat long enough to do some, something that was in doubt until today.

      so far it’s been kinda quiet on the radar because Indie sandbox P2P MMOs are just kinda like that, EVE has by far been the exception rather than the rule. I can’t say much on the quality of the game because I haven’t tried it (I have this stigma against leasing video games) but being one major motherfucking mechnophile I’ve been paying attention to it.

      (I actually was planing in signing up for a trial account next week but will probably wait a little bit after all this settles down)

  3. Alex Bakke says:

    ” “I let my frustration take charge of me, fueled by emotions that had built up due to a breach of trust we at CCP have been experiencing over the past few days. I know that sounds ironic considering those are the exact same feelings you have been having towards CCP.”

    Is he talking about the CSM? If so, how have they betrayed CCP?

    Also, amusingly, no staring eyes, hah.

  4. StingingVelvet says:

    Amusing. “We got caught being pricks and now we want to smooth that over.” Is anyone really comforted by this PR stuff?

    And as a non-MMO player I am still baffled at why ANY items cost money. I thought the $15 a month people paid was for added content as well as updates.

    • Jumwa says:

      No kidding.

      The nerve of a company charging us $15 a month for upkeep, maintenance and new content then charging us extra on top of that for minor, trivial graphical content updates is absurd.

      It actually gladdens me to see that EVE’s userbase is responding so vehemently to the issue. With WoW charging high prices for vanity pets that used to be part of content updates (but no longer, since they realized people will pay extra for them) and now even charging extra monthly fees for features other MMOs give for free, hardly anyone is making a peep.

    • LionsPhil says:

      As a non-MMO player I am amused by the misplaced sense of accomplishment people have for training up virtual (i.e. nonexistant) skills, this “hard graft” of theirs being potentially undermined by people spending money.

    • TLGAthena says:

      “It actually gladdens me to see that EVE’s userbase is responding so vehemently to the issue. With WoW charging high prices for vanity pets that used to be part of content updates (but no longer, since they realized people will pay extra for them) and now even charging extra monthly fees for features other MMOs give for free, hardly anyone is making a peep.”

      Whilst I am not going to defend Blizzard for their variety of silly moves, I should point out that the paid vanity items in question from Blizzard do not have any game changing effect, and constitute a TINY percentage of the available vanity items (far more are attainable from drops via bosses or reputation grinds). The other features so far offered such as the mobile auction house are very much optional and only really useful for a minor percentage, if people -want- to pay for that facility, more power to them.

      The possibility of putting in subscription tiers to allow “extra” things such as grouping with RealID friends stinks of Bobby Kotick reaching into the till but as yet, they’re little more than concept. The big difference is Blizz has kept their paid additions innocuous. CCP have managed to *hugely* blunder on both a PR and deployment front at the same time. When global emails from their CEO show in clear terms the kind of disconnect the company has from their playerbase, that’s the time alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear.

    • Jumwa says:

      “Whilst I am not going to defend Blizzard for their variety of silly moves, I should point out that the paid vanity items in question from Blizzard do not have any game changing effect, and constitute a TINY percentage of the available vanity items (far more are attainable from drops via bosses or reputation grinds). The other features so far offered such as the mobile auction house are very much optional and only really useful for a minor percentage, if people -want- to pay for that facility, more power to them.”

      Except all those vanity pets that are available freely in game were mostly put into place before they started charging. Very few have been added since they realized people will pay for the pets. And you’ll notice their yearly free-pets for the WoW anniversary ended immediately after the success of their first pet sale for real money.

      As well, the auction house feature is something that other MMOs, such as the tiny game Fallen Earth, offer for free.

      Certainly it’s optional, but it’s something that gives an in-game advantage that they’re charging extra for, even though competitors are giving it away for free. It’s just a case of them charging for whatever they can get away with.

      I haven’t said that this is wrong and they shouldn’t do it, of course they’re free to do whatever they’re legally allowed. However, I don’t like it, and I’m glad when I see other people vote with their wallets the same as I do.

  5. Gormongous says:

    The tone of his blog post is the same I’ve seen in a dozen contrite emails between couples in dysfunctional relationships: aware that there is a problem, perhaps even willing to acknowledge how that problem came to be, but never prepared to do anything more about it than “talk things out.”

    Still, I hope something nice might still come of all this.

    • jalf says:

      You read a lot of emails between couples in dysfunctional relationships?

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      JB says:

      About a dozen, apparently.

    • sinister agent says:

      I’m guessing that means s/he has a friend or two with a habit of going out with complete dickheads. Possibly only one.

    • banski83 says:

      LulzSec strikes again? Not even my private life is free from those bastards!

  6. Davee says:

    One thing about sandbox MMO communities; they sure know how to be self-righteous and outraged. I’ve seen things like this in many forums. Both for good and bad.

    Let’s just hope CCP does the right thing. Whatever that may be…

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Well, it’s a Sandbox… you can do anything without real guidance… including bitch and whine

    • rayne117 says:

      IMO, the people that bitch and whine about the original people bitching and whining are FAR more annoying than the original bitching and whining could ever be.

    • Reinhardt says:

      You realize where that line of thought is headed, right?

  7. Antsy says:

    It just seems like CCP are determined to steer the good ship EVE Online to shores that nobody aboard wants to visit.

    Also, they refuse to shore up those leaks on D deck and they’re willfully ignoring the the complaints of a peculiar pong in the galley. Yarrrr!

    • frenz0rz says:

      Reminds me the many naval analogies people kept thinking up when Flagship Studios was ‘sinking’. This really needs to be tried on every game developer out there.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      It’s not sinking, it’s a submarine

    • MCM says:

      Just like in Mieville’s The Scar! Microtransactions are possibility mining and… money is power.

  8. TooNu says:

    EvE online: It used to be quite good.

  9. kikito says:

    I hope they celebrate that meeting dressed in virtual clothes only. No real clothes allowed.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Are you kidding? Do you have any idea how much virtual clothes cost? No one can afford that!

  10. Dave says:

    More hats for Eve!

  11. killmachine says:

    in the end they all get greedy.

    not an eve player here, but i think with this meeting between the community and the devs they are willing to change their direction.

    in their masterplan it probably is all eve roleplay. some sort of democracy expanding from eve to the real world? who knows. :)

  12. Batolemaeus says:

    They’re obviously stalling for time. So obviously in fact, that it feels like some poor attempt to let grass grow over the whole thing.

    Previously, the shortcomings of CCP in developing Eve could be attributed to incompetence.
    Now, it’s attributed to malice.

    But apart from that: Too late. Perpetuum had some server problems, I heard..

    • Tei says:

      It was a software bug, and is fixed. Servers are at 1.4% of capacity. And theres a 15 days trial…

    • Batolemaeus says:

      I know that, I was more alluding to the exodus.
      I’m in NeX you know..

  13. Po0py says:

    It looks like they are doing everything they can to disenfranchise their fanbase. Good luck with that.

    • cmi says:

      CCP was always a outstanding developer to me. Close to the community (well at least sort of), very communicative (where else do you read so much technical background about a game), outstanding marketing (the promotional trailers are just for teh win) and kinda generous and outstanding about their addons: they never ever charged for one.

      Assuming the email is genuine, you realize it’s not “the good developer”, but a company which looks for maximizing it’s profits. Quoting League of Legends as “a working model where you pay for skins” (see the “greed is good”-pdf) is kinda strange, because LoL is actually f2p. Selling virtual goods for as much as real life items, is just LOL (laughing out loud this time). Selling 50+ monocles in 40hours is insane and seems to prove they are right with what they do.

      Sadly Hilmar is right – the feedback was probably awaited by CCP and they decided to resist the shitstorm depending how strong it becomes. They know actions > words. So.. Dear CCP, I quit EVE some months ago (the second time after several years of playing). But I guess this time it was final, go fuck yourself and put your monocles somewhere where it might provide pleasure too (and where the sun is never shining). And this time I will click the “unsubscribe”-link in the “oh please come back, your avatar is missing you”-emails for my accounts.

      (Too sad they develop the WoD-game too, such a shame.)

    • Khann says:

      That email sounds like it is written by a complete lunatic…

    • Lilliput King says:

      “After 40 hours we have already sold 52 monocles”

  14. Dass_Jennir says:

    Quite a crappy apology as it doesn’t really do anything to assure us they wont be selling non vanity items and the like. Even the gold ammo bit seems strange “we won’t be selling (finger quotes) “gold ammo” per say but…” . Anyway even if they do start selling mods ships etc I’ll still keep on playing as unfortunately there’s no alternative mmo.

    • FakeAssName says:

      *cough* http://www.perpetuum-online.com/ *cough*

    • Premium User Badge

      Crimsoneer says:

      CSM has confirmed on the forum that when he said “golden ammo” he referred to any non vanity items.

    • Dass_Jennir says:

      My corp mates all say perpetuum sucks and it’s got nothing on eve.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Well, they would say that.

    • FakeAssName says:

      they are probably right, but the game hasn’t been out for a full year yet so what do you expect. Avatar Creations know who their audience is (they picked them instead of waiting for an audience to develope, stealing players from EVE has always been their plan), they have seen all of the many ways that CCP has pissed off it’s contemptuous user base, and they know exactly how precarious their situation is right now.

      you can probably think of switching to Perpetuum as reliving the developmental years of EVE, it’s probably going to be a long time before these guys remotely stray from developing the core blueprint of EVE.

      and if you really can’t live without the space setting you can always switch hit back and forth between Perpetuum and Black Prophecy, one for the economy and one for the … floating.

      On that note let me welcome you all to the modern world of MMO gaming: where no one sticks with one game all the time, and most people have got a mix tape of online games that they run concurrently (each for a singular aspect of game play, cause noting can cover it all effectively).

    • Wulf says:

      If your corp mates told you that jumping off a cliff was awesome, would you do it? Hive thinking is horribly dangerous in humans, don’t do it. Decide for yourself! There is a trial out there. And perhaps going in with low expectations might leave you feeling surprised, possibly even delighted.

  15. Tei says:

    The weird thing is that CCP don’t understand the playerbase of the game. Or want to scare the playerbase on purpose.. maybe to change the demography of it.

    Don’t want to say “Never” to in-game adventages paid by real money, but scare people with that idea.

    Is like I say loud “I want to kill you”, followed with “but not with this gold knife. Not this particular one”.

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      “Is like I say loud “I want to kill you”, followed with “but not with this gold knife. Not this particular one”.”

      I love you Tei. Don’t ever change. <3

  16. Metaphorazine says:

    It’s the same old story though. “Oh, we’re very very sorry that there’s issues that you don’t like, we really regret that you don’t like it, but we’re just going to wring our hands and regret a bit more until you shut up and keep buying cause we did it to make money and we sure as hell didn’t consider your feelings beforehand and now that it’s been a bit more of an upset than we’d planned on we damn well wanna get paid…”

  17. Premium User Badge

    Crimsoneer says:

    RPS, you really need to stop discussing this as if expensive pants were the issue. NOBODY CARES ABOUT THE PANTS. Pants are pants are pants – how much they cost is determined by what people are willing to pay, not what they’re worth, and people are buying them by the bucketload. Economics, common.

    I suspect the CSM are going to ask CCP to swear they won’t ever introduce Pay2Win, or at least Pay2Win which directly impacts the market.

    • Persona Jet Rev says:

      I agree with you: it’s not about the clothing, it’s about what CCP *might* do with the new store. Everything known up to this point has come from leaked e-mails and documents, the latter which was clearly an in-house debate which might be very common at CCP.

      So, I’d say don’t cover this issue until there is something concrete to cover. On the other hand, from a semi-outside perspective (have played EVE on and off since 2003) I find it all very interesting/amusing.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      :)

    • Unaco says:

      ” “Tthere are no and never have been plans to sell “gold ammo” for Aurum. In [the leaked internal newsletter] Fearless people are arguing a point, which doesn’t even have to be their view, they are debating an issue.”

      I think it looks OK for the forseeable future… knowing how slowly CCP roll some things out, if there are NO PLANS and there have NEVER BEEN ANY PLANS for Pay2Win items, then I don’t think they’ll be introducing them.

  18. johnpeat says:

    I still think Eve is a ‘game’ in the way that the maze that we put mice into is a ‘game’ – the developers have repeatedly shown that it’s more like some giant economic model than anything which is supposed to be entertainment.

    The people who really love it are – generally speaking – a strange bunch. People who love spreadsheets AND pretending to be space captains are a unique demographic I’m sure. Clearly the overlap between that and people who pay money for virtual hats is limited but god forbid you sell them lasers or shit – that breaks some wall, somewhere, something… something…

    • Lilliput King says:

      What has happened to this comment section.

    • Antsy says:

      And the spreadsheet thing is so tired. Certainly for people doing a lot of trading that might be true but otherwise….no.

  19. evenflowjimbo says:

    I’m sure they’ll be worried about the little money they are losing, while they’re sipping hot coco and skiing. They ski in Iceland, right? I don’t know countries…

    • Iain_1986 says:

      Icelands the ones thats green and Greenlands the one thats icey/snowy

  20. kwyjibo says:

    They said this about hats too, they were wrong.

  21. Dreamhacker says:

    I get the feeling that the CSM members are going to walk out of that meeting a whole lot richer and a whole lot quieter…

  22. Dlarit says:

    Hmm I’m no expert but why is this such an issue? CCP should just do the following:
    Announce again (so there is no doubt) that they will never do gameplay altering microtransactions.
    Reduce all vanity items to low prices ie £1? The way I see it the vanity items are pure money margin so if you sell 15 for £1 you make the same as 1 for £15 (plus more Likely to get people to spend cash on vanity items).
    They could even sell golden ship paint if they wanted rather than a golden ship I bet a ton of people would pay £1 and it wouldn’t break the economy buying ships from CCP.
    Give all players 1 free vanity item as an apology for the anger.
    If I was in CCP management I would see this as a no brainer to smooth things over and make a crap load off the £££’s rolling in from pure profit vanity items.

    • Kelduum Revaan says:

      The problem is that CCP missed the slim window you have in these cases where you can go “actually, no its this…” before it gets to rioting stage, at which point all the people who are raging are claiming they are lying, and not listening to what CCP say (even in the responses to the “we’re flying the CSM out to Iceland” thing).

      Its quite fascinating to watch, even from inside.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Not for me, I was on an op last night and no one was logged on for me to kill :’(

    • Salt says:

      The CSM will report back that CCP have no intention to ever sell gameplay altering items exclusive to the store (which is basically what’s already been said.) By the time the meeting happens most people will have calmed down and be happy to hear it from a group they trust marginally more than the developers themselves.

      What would be interesting is if they started selling training time. “Take 24 hours off your currently training skill for just $10!” Seems like no more an unfair advantage than happening to have started playing the game before others. I’ll accept 5% of revenues as payment for my consulting services.

  23. Premium User Badge

    wyrmsine says:

    There’s an interesting comment over on slashdot here that mentioned something I haven’t seen elsewhere. The theory is that there’s a scary amount of paid-for, unclaimed game time (in the form of “Pilot License EXtensions”) accumulated over the Eve universe.

    The, uh, money quote:

    “Players have speculated about just how many PLEX are now stockpiled, the most reserved estimates put a lower count of around 75,000 PLEX (real-life cash equivalent of around 1.3 million USD)”

    If there’s any basis in reality for that statement (it’s on the internet!), the price tag for them digital pants seems somewhat less insane. Still ill-advised, mind. Also doesn’t have anything to do with the leaked documents, either, whose contents are now the issue.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      I don’t see how that would be a problem for CCP. If it’s paid for (as PLEX always is), what does CCP care if it’s used or not? They’ve got their money.

      It’s like if I subscribe for a month of WoW. Blizzard doesn’t give a damn if I forget to turn my pc on that month.

    • Premium User Badge

      wyrmsine says:

      PLEX works a bit differently, from what I know – I never used them*. Picture an item in your inventory that, when activated, adds thirty days to your subscription. These can be paid for by in-game gold, from another player who gave real money to the developer for it. You can use this item now, next week, or next year if you want. Maybe you’re hanging on to it, in case you lose your job, or the subscription price goes up. Maybe you run a guild, so you have a bunch of these items to use as incentives, or to help out in case your best players hit hard times. Actually, that last one is such a good idea, you’d expect a lot of guilds to do it.

      It’s not “lost” time – it’s time that’s paid for and yet to be used. The money’s gone to CCP, put on a balance sheet, presented to shareholders, factored into projected earnings, and possibly gone to fund new projects and pay salaries. It’s also money CCP won’t receive later when the player does decide to redeem it. Not a big deal, in small numbers…

      * I’ve never been that good at making money in Eve, so if I’ve got this wrong, a proper pilot will no doubt correct me. With lasers.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      “It’s money CCP won’t recieve later”
      Yeah, because it’s money they’ve received already. Like I said, they already got paid. And are continuing to get paid, mind, because people are still buying the things.
      It’s not lost capital for them in any way, so having more of it about isn’t some bad thing they’d be worried about.

      I don’t see what it has to do with the price of the pants.

  24. Kablooie says:

    RPS, why didn’t you simply post the letter instead of requiring one to download a PDF to view it – and one password locked at that?
    .
    Also, if someone could enlighten me as to what NGE is, appreciated.
    .
    .
    As a former EVE player, and one who dislikes MMO’s in general, a lot about EVE continues to impress me, particularly how its systems and organizations mimic RL ones. I shouldn’t even say “mimic”, really. Player economics, politics, organized societies and the fringe, criminal elements like the pirates and griefers. A lot of good systems and concepts from RL are present in EVE, but also some of the ugliness.
    Now it seems like they want to import even more unsavory elements into the society. We already live in a world where the Have’s lord it over the Have Not’s, where greed is king. Must this also be reflected in EVE?
    .
    .
    Perhaps it is inevitable . . . . as of late I was considering getting back into the game, but with current events, I’m back on the sidelines. I have to agree that CCP’s unadulterated greed, borderline contempt for their playerbase, and questionable design decisions are guiding the game onto very rocky shores, indeed.

    • FakeAssName says:

      NGE = New Game Experience (or something like that).

      for most old school Star Wars: Galaxies fans it stands for “Not Gonna Experance (it)” or “Now (we) Gonna Exodus”.

      it was a massive overhaul of the core mechanics for that game following a poor release where many people didn’t like said “core mechanics.” however many people still did, and the game was developing a dedicated user base who was absolutely in love with the sandbox nature of the game.

      so after releasing a game that did not adhere to the expatiation of being more of an action-ish title, and consequently alienated a massive number of Star Wars fans, NGE turned around and alienated what few fans it had managed to get … turning the game into a shell of it’s potential, and has been a running joke ever since.

    • Kablooie says:

      Thanks :)

      My knowledge of MMO-related lore and events is limited, as I avoid them in general (EVE was really the sole exception). They make fascinating reading, though.

      It’s not really related, much, to what’s happening, but these events keep bringing to mind a novel by Charles Stross, “Halting State”. I’m gonna have to go dig it out and re-read it.

  25. Freud says:

    When you are poor consumers, you will get sold a lot of poor products.

    If people learn to vote with their wallets companies will adjust to that.

  26. JackShandy says:

    The best bit of this are the in-game riots. Always beautiful things, those MMO protests. I remember hearing of the day hundreds of people gathered to shit at the feet of lord british! Before my time, though.

  27. Bhazor says:

    Wonder if it has less to do with the publicity and more to do with the mass walk out of players.
    http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1536495&page=1

  28. TooNu says:

    The CSM are going to Iceland instead of having some sort of Skype meeting. I don’t understand why they need to be flown out to Iceland. Also, I don’t think the meeting will be at all honest.

    • Salt says:

      They’re being flown out so that they can be replaced by CCP-controlled doppelgängers.

      (And people who just got a free weekend holiday to look at volcanoes are more likely to be amiable than if they were tucked away behind a headset.)

    • reticulate says:

      The idea is that they get a free trip to Iceland and then come back to tell all the plebs how wonderful everything is in CCP land. At least, I think that’s the idea.

    • FakeAssName says:

      air fare to fly 6 people from New York to Reykjavík (in July): $858.00 + $345.00 in taxes.

      so how them 52 monocles paying off for ya now?

  29. Web Cole says:

    It took them what, 3, 4 days to say “No, we won’t sell non-vanity items.”? And even then its rather suspiciously worded.

    Not an Eve player but I can understand the rage here, and CCP have handled this whole thing like a baboon with a china vase.

    You’ve got to wonder how many subs they”ll actually have lost at the end of all this and whether it was worth it. I pretty much feel they deserve to get burned.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      And even then its rather suspiciously worded.

      Exactly. Who knows what he means by “gold ammo”? CSM Trebor thinks he means all items that give a gameplay advantage, but even that doesn’t necessarily rule out stuff like buying faction standing.

      Also, “there are no and never have been plans” leaves considerable wiggle room for the future. From the beginning, most players have been demanding a very simple promise: that they will *never* move beyond selling vanity items. To leave the door open to that, even a little bit, is to fatally underestimate the importance of the player-driven economy.

      Making a vague statement and stalling for time is yet another awful response to the situation, just digging the hole deeper. Whatever they’re going to say to the CSM, they should be saying in public now.

  30. Kablooie says:

    He’s “frustrated at the breach of trust”. Someone on his staff actually had a conscience and turned whistleblower?

    Or they loved what they had created and were aghast at where management was taking it.

  31. reticulate says:

    The CSM is and always has been a joke, and giving them all tickets to Iceland does nothing but reinforce the concept that CCP think they can buy solidarity.
    It’s about time they appreciated this is a beast far beyond their control, and approach it accordingly. You can’t design a game around rampant sociopathic behaviour and then expect a reasonable response whenever you change stuff for better or worse.

    • Antsy says:

      How many monocles do they have to sell to recoup the price of the plane tickets?

    • FakeAssName says:

      lol, I had just posted about that when I read your comment!

      round trip from New York to Reykjavík for 6 people would cost them a little over a grand (USD), but who knows how much it will really cost them when they are flying them in from all over the world.

  32. pipman3000 says:

    i thought i was an avid player of eve online until just now when i realised i was actually randomly clicking things in openoffice while watching star trek for two whole years.

    wtf

  33. Jakad says:

    “• Stupidly expensive vanity items”

    -Tell that to the CEOs that have billions of isk burning a hole in their pocket, the items aren’t meant to be accessible to everyone.

    “• The very likely possibility of unfair advantages being purchased for real world money”

    -You mean the almost no chance of a possibility. The ONLY sign of this was a little talk at the Alliance Tournamet and the Fearless newsletter (which IS NOT absolute CCP view, but ideas thrown around by everyone of ANY IDEA that COULD be applied, it was made to brainstorm ideas no matter what it was.. hints the title.. Fearless)

    “• The whole Walking in Stations idea adds nothing to the core EvE gameplay, yet dev attention was squandered on it while core gameplay mechanic issues ave been completely overlooked . . AGAIN.”

    -Oh no, they aren’t changing anything in space with combat. They are trying to increase immersion, I personally can’t wait to sit in a room with a bro chatting face to face in game. Or even better in a Corp meeting.

    “• CCP using the EvE playerbase as beta-testers for software tech designed to be used in other games that CCP are developing, that frankly does not belong in EvE.”

    -what the hell are you even talking about?

    “• Even if the Walking in Stations had any useful point, it was released way too early; it’s buggy, slow and amateurish.”

    -You can’t expect them to throw it all in at once, they have to test and add a little at a time. They’ve already used the analogy, that it’s like trying to change the engine of a F1 car while it is racing down the track.

    “• And the last straw, the high-ups at CCP’s arrogant and deceitful approach and response to this issue. They don’t care about the user experience any more.”

    I understand the devs anger at the response and distrust of the players. I also understand the players distrust after lack of communication. It’s just a lovers quarrel. Calm down.

    • cmi says:

      “I personally can’t wait to sit in a room with a bro chatting face to face in game. Or even better in a Corp meeting.”

      Yeah that’s cool. Two stylized and beautiful avatars sitting face to face, smiling at each other, while they are *chatting* (in written form) or talking over vent/ts to each other (where the hot chick you see has a deep male voice.) Increases the experience for sure ;) *SCNR*

  34. innociv says:

    I’ve never figured out why people don’t actually do what they say in protest.

    The forums claim like 5k unsubbed in protest, but I doubt it’s true or else there would be a leaked email of that.
    (That’s $75,000 a month lost, much more than the $3500 gained in monocles)

    If it were true, I think CCP would have enacted sweeping changes.

    I’ve always been one of those players that DOES unsub or do a chargeback when companies lie and screw me over, but no one else follows through with me like they claim to so it never has any effect.

    Good job, lying players. This is your fault. Companies would listen if you acted instead of spoke.

    • FakeAssName says:

      you can’t cancel a subscription in the middle of it, the best you can do is opt out of automatically re-subbing when your current subscription runs out.

      sure, people can say that they are canceling all they want to but the money is already in CCP’s bank account. if people are serious about quitting it’s gonna be 2-3 months down line when the rubber meets the road for CCP …

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Wow, this post.

      Also, CCP sure as hell would never release figures on account drops. That’s suicide, even I wouldn’t do something that stupid.

    • cmi says:

      I *think* one of the main problems is, that the hardcore players are mostly paying for one (if not more/all) account(s) with PLEX only. CCP wouldn’t really care if they quit, they don’t bring the money to the company. In the long round they will feel it (because the PLEX market might crash) but not too soon.
      (edit: typo)

    • reticulate says:

      That’s an interesting theory, cmi, and one I would subscribe to the magazine of.

      PLEX is essentially free time on CCP’s dime. And since everyone who’s properly into Eve are undoubtedly PLEXing it up, they lose nothing by pissing of said users. Especially when you’ve got an influx of newbs willing to buy hats…. I mean monocles.

      Of course, the ones who don’t actually pay to play the game are arguably the ones who actually keep the game economy going, CCP could be cutting off their nose to spite their face. Which is a bad thing.

    • Adekan says:

      Once again, PLEX are not free. Somebody pays for them. They are not randomly generated in game. Every single PLEX in game has been bought directly from CCP. These “CCP Doesn’t care because X is paid with PLEX” theories don’t hold water.

    • cmi says:

      @Adekan Didn’t state otherwise. Just saying in my opinion, it’s not the players which “pay” their subscription(s) exclusively with PLEX which are important to CCP – let them rage, they don’t pay for it. It’s the players which actually BOUGHT this PLEX with their money to get some shiny stuff ingame.

    • Zyrusticae says:

      But, see, the players who pay for their subs through plex are completely necessary because they help to take plex out of the game.

      Plex is worthless if nobody buys it. The guys who buy the plex help CCP, obviously, by giving them money, but if the plex just keeps stockpiling then eventually CCP’s revenue will simply crash as too many players play with stockpiled plex and people stop buying new plexes because the market is flooded with them. They *want* lots of players to take those plex off the market and use them, anything less is tantamount to financial suicide.

    • cmi says:

      @Zyrusticae – I’m aware of that. See the last sentence in my original comment. I don’t think CCP is THAT dumb, but.

  35. Mozai says:

    Awful lot of bitching about what CCP might do, but little kvetching over what CCP has done.

    Might Do: I don’t see how RMT for vanity items implies a certainty that RMT for equipment or skills will come, any more than RMT for game-time does, and that’s been accepted as an axiom of the game.

    Has Done: I’d give more weight to the complaints that gross changes were made to the user interface without consulting the Council of Stellar Management. I’ve heard complaints that the Hangar View was discarded, making ship management an arduous process. Meanwhile the not-optional Captain’s Quarters interface has been causing client software crashes. I’ve also heard that walking around in the stations (necessarily a part of CQ interface?) is so resource intensive, players have to pause the game to change video options every time they dock at a station. Then there’s the surprise changes to stealth mechanics that renders many implants and drones useless (and kills Macintosh client software? not sure).

    These tangible usability complaints are getting drowned out by the prophecies of RMT doom.

  36. P4p3Rc1iP says:

    Once again, it is not about what might come. It is about what HAS come, and that CCP has been lying to us. It is about TRUST, or the lack thereof. It is about changing the game in ways we were promised they would not.

    EVE players can no longer trust the words of developers when they say they will do A but then do the much hated B.

    In a way it seems CCP is going for a SOE-fail. Much like what happened to SWG and Planetside. Arrogant/naive developers not listening to what the community has to say, and not corresponding with the community. It killed both games. Only difference is that CCP has also been lying…

  37. Pointless Puppies says:

    Seems like a textbook example of a non-apology apology. They even did the usual “I’m sorry I made you angry, but I’m not sorry for what I did” cliche!

    This has done nothing but lower my respect for CCP, whatever little there was.